Friday, June 02, 2006

Why Can’t They Get Storm Right??

Last weekend, while memorializing those who served our country in the military (including my dad – hi, dad!), and trying to escape the stupendous heat over the weekend, I met some girlfriends up in Evanston for X-Men 3. Two hours later I left the theater with a palpable feeling of dissatisfaction in my gut. No, it was more than dissatisfaction; it was a low burn of disgruntlement.

That’s right. I was disgruntled.

How is it possible for them to get Storm wrong consistently?? I can accept (but only a little!) that, in movies, some things get lost in translation. But this…this…fundamental misreading of Storm’s character!! I am boggled!

And I think I’m going to blame the patriarchy for ruining Storm for millions of little girls all over the world.

The Storm I loved when I was in junior high sported a mohawk, wore leather, kicked ass and was a militant fighter for her rights. She never kowtowed to Charles, thought Cyclops was lame (which he was) and was basically the fiercest friend a crazy, mixed up mutant (ugh, Jean) could ever have. She was scary, wonderful, elemental, angry, gentle, violent, funny, stylish, and could hang with Wolverine – she could hang with the psychotic ninja-trained loner! And she led the Morlocks! She was so cool.

Why do I blame patriarchy? Because it’s typical of a system in which a woman’s unique complexity and potential power gets reduced to something non-threatening, nice and serviceable to the status-quo. Who do they give us? They give us teeny tiny Halley Berry, with her kittenish voice and all the fierceness of a pout.

So thanks, Hollywood. Thanks for sucking the life from one of the strongest female characters in the comic book world and turning her into a lame after-thought. Way to go.

(And don’t even get me started on what they did to Calysto.)


dignan said...

The mistakes made with the movie version of Storm began with the original casting: Angela Bassett was up for the role but they chose bland Hallie instead. Think of it - Angela freakin' Basset with those big, beautiful biceps and commanding snarl. I quiver.

I still remember her performance in "Strange Days," when she nearly ate Ralph Fiennes for lunch every time they appeared on screen together. She gave a great physical performance as his "bodyguard" and she was the most sympathetic character in the film. Should have had her own sequel had the movie made any money.

Can't agree with your favoring the Ororo mowhawk look, though. Did it appear before or after "Mad Max: Beyond Thundercrap"? Either way, it reminds me too much of Tina Turner and "We Don't Need Another Hero" now.


P.S. I guess the guy they got to play Wolverine is okay, but the character is really restricted by the necessities of the PG-13 rating. A young Jack Nicholson would have been fantastic as Wolverine.

P.S.S. What the fuck happened with Colossus? He looked like a piece of aluminum foil poorly wrapped around a piece of leftover chicken.

ding said...

i love angela basset and she would have been fantastic. and 'bland' is exactly correct. their Storm is totally bland; she doesn't hold anyone's attention at all. or, i should be more correct: halle berry doesn't hold anyone's attention at all. dull, dull, dull.

and am i a disloyal x-men fan if i say that i'm totally over wolverine? (hugh jackman is totally cute but the character? meh.) all the snarls and cigars and rapid healing...boring. he and scott are perfect for each other.